Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health right now. Isolation and anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic are taking a toll. Officials say calls to a National Suicide Prevention Hotline call center are up 300 percent. Meanwhile, Google searches for “panic attack symptoms” have gone up 100 percent compared to last year. You are not alone although you probably feel like it. Then you add anxiety that may be triggered from constant news updates on top of that loneliness. It’s okay to not be okay right now. I hope you reach out to some of the resources listed at the bottom of this post if you need to. Here are some tips that can help ease some of those negative feelings:
- Avoid information overload / limit social media use – too much exposure to the constant news updates can be overwhelming along with trying to keep up with everything on social media so try to limit your time and choose your sources wisely. Also consider who you are following and what kind of content is popping up on your feed. If it’s always negative, hit that unfollow!!
- Maintain a normal routine – Take some time to organize and plan your days so that you develop a rhythm that feels good to you. Studies show that having a routine that connects you to a purpose and provides direction, is beneficial for mental health.
- Stay in touch with friends and family – Call up your family members and FaceTime with your friends just to check in and say hi. Chances are they’re probably feeling similar feelings to you and would love to hear from you. Keep communication going in your life.
- Go outdoors and take advantage of fresh air – Spending time outdoors has been proven to boost endorphin levels and dopamine production, which promotes happiness. Plus feeling the sun on your skin feels so good after being cooped up in the house all day.
- Keep yourself busy – You’re going to get bored during these days but try to keep yourself as busy as possible to distract yourself. Watch TV, do a puzzle, clean the house, cook a fun recipe, listen to music, learn something new on YouTube! Here’s 40 different things you can try when you’re stuck at home.
- Maintain a balanced diet – It maybe hard to resist all those quarantine snacks you have stocked away but try to maintain a balanced diet and eat 3 meals a day.
- Get exercise – Move your body! Exercise is also known for boosting endorphin levels and dopamine production. Go for a walk, have a dance party, do an at-home workout.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 741741. You can also call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline.
Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233